Washington Times on March 11, 2015, reported that House Speaker John A. Boehner blasted President Obama for providing non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine instead of arms, saying the aid will prove “completely ineffective.”
“The Ukrainians are begging for help, and the Congress is begging the administration to provide the defensive, lethal assistance we authorized in December,” said Cory Fritz, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican. “Our allies deserve better.”
Sidestepping a bipartisan call from Congress to send arms to Ukraine, the Obama administration said it instead will provide an additional $75 million in non-lethal military equipment to Kiev in its fight against Russian-backed rebels.
The military aid will include counter-mortar radar, unarmed drones, radios and medical equipment, a U.S official said. Mr. Obama also has approved sending 30 armored Humvees and up to 200 unarmored Humvees.
Most of the supplies will be funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a senior administration official said.
The Treasury Department added to its sanctions list 14 Ukrainian separatists and Russians, including former Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov.
And the International Monetary Fund board of directors signed off on Ukraine’s new $17.5 billion package of financial aid, IMF chief Christine Lagarde announced.
Last week, a bipartisan group of congressional leaders, including Mr. Boehner, urged Mr. Obama to send arms to Ukraine.
“It is even more than simply a component of a revisionist Russian strategy to redraw international borders and impose its will on its neighbors,” the lawmakers said in a letter. “It is a grotesque violation of international law, a challenge to the west and an assault on the international order established at such great cost in the wake of World War II.”